I don't know how exactly to describe being an online librarian creating a carefully curated library of ideas (we can also use the term blogger).
I will try with the following: It's like posting pictures on social media.
When you get likes, you feel good.
But it's not the likes themselves that make you feel good. It's the feeling of appreciation you get when others are seemingly engaged with your persona.
But since I don't have a social media account - OK, I do, but I don't use or open them - I get my sense of belonging in the online world in a slightly different way.
Probably you can guess how... when people become members of my site. That's one of the reasons I check my email so often. Since I get a new email every time there is someone new subscribed, I eagerly refresh my inbox.
I know, it might sound absurd. Yet, when someone subscribes - pays for becoming a member - it means that I did it. That my content is good. That someone somewhere in the world is finding value in what I'm doing. Hence, I feel valued.
So, you can probably imagine what's like when I don't often get new people as members. I feel depressed. I question my existence and whether I should keep doing what I'm doing.
Ok, to cut to the chase...
A few weeks ago, after an agonizingly long period of time without new people joining as members, I got one new.
It was a rainy day. A dark day. The grimness outside was in perfect correlation with what was happening inside.
Then I got a new email. A new member joined!
It was like a bright beam of light dissolving the gloomy upper layer in the sky and energizing my spirit. Finally, I mattered again!
But then I noticed something. The name of the person. The email. All seemed too familiar. I checked again and I saw that this person actually already had an active subscription - this email was for adding a second subscription.
You might think that this was good but, to me, this was clearly a mistake.
Why get a new subscription since you already have one?
My first thought was to issue a full refund and simply email the person that there is already a subscription active and there is no need for a second one. But then I decided to first email the person, explain the situation and then, once we're clear, issue the refund.
So I did... And the response literally blew me away. 🤯
I read it. Then I read it again. And then I read it again.
I was like listening to a damn good song on the radio for the first time and then finding it online and playing it for 24 hours straight.
What the person said is the following (and I'm including it here only after the person gave me permission):
"I meant to purchase another subscription to support your work. I was basically trying to donate a gift to you, but I didn't know how to. So I purchased another subscription. I would much rather invest in your work than spend it on something less valuable. Imagine how your child will grow up to be with you as their dad... I want to invest in that."
Thank you again!